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Atlantic Youth Hockey League

 

AMHL Has Forty-One Called by USHL in Phase Two

Release Date : 05/14/2014

CHICAGO, IL – After an outstanding Phase I that saw seventeen players with AYHL ties have their names called by the USHL in Phase I, the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League is pleased to announce that a total of forty-one players with AMHL experience (a total that includes fourteen current players and twenty-seven alumni, which includes six alumni of the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League), had their names called in the Phase II portion of the 2014 USHL Draft. Unlike Phase I where only ’98 birth year players were eligible, players from ’94 through ’98 birth years can be drafted. This is the more traditional part of the USHL Draft and teams continue to draft until their rosters are completed.

Defenseman Matthew McArdle (’95 birth year/Annapolis, MD) was the first AYHL alumnus off the board. The Annapolis, Maryland native was chosen with the first pick of the second round (19th overall) by the Fargo Force. McArdle spent four years in the AYHL, two each with the Washington Little Capitals and Team Maryland, before moving on to Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in 2009. After player four years with Shattuck, McArdle split the ’13-’14 season between the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (NAHL). This is the second time McArdle has been drafted as the Dubuque Fighting Saints drafted McArdle in the sixteenth round in 2012.

Alumnus defenseman Conner Wynne (’95 birth year/Pomona, NY) was selected by the Green Bay Gamblers with the tenth pick of the third round (47th overall). Wynne spent his youth career with the North Jersey Avalanche and one season with the New York Saints before moving on to Milton Academy.

Philadelphia Junior Flyers alumnus Joey Marooney (’96 birth year/Eden Prarie, MN/Alabama-Huntsville) was then selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede with the thirteenth pick of the third round (50th overall). Marooney spent his Squirt through Pee Wee years with the Junior Flyers before relocating to Minnesota where he joined Holy Family High School and is committed to the University of Alabama-Huntsville for the 2015-2016 season.

Former New Jersey Devils Youth defenseman Jacob Paganelli (’97 birth year/Verona, NJ) went to the expansion Bloomington Thunder with the final pick in the third round (55th overall). Before moving to the Shattuck-Saint Mary’s program, Paganelli spent his Squirt, Bantam Minor and Midget years with the Devils and his Pee Wee years with the New Jersey Rockets.

The Lincoln Stars called on the AYHL with the seventh pick of the fourth round (62nd overall) when they selected Junior Flyers U18 goaltender Peyton Jones (’96 birth year/Langhorne, PA). Jones was with Team Comcast for Pee Wee through Midget U16 American and then spent his national year with the New Jersey Rockets before returning to his native Pennsylvania to play with Nationals participant, the Junior Flyers. Jones had an outstanding ’13-’14 sesaon with a 1.80 GAA and saving ninety-three percent of shots he faced. Jones was the first active AYHL participant to be selected.

With the very next selection (63rd overall), the Madison Capitols made it back-to-back active AYHL players selected, when they chose New Jersey Devils Youth forward Bobby Hampton (’97 birth year/Middletown, NJ). Hampton spent two seasons with the New Jersey Rockets before switching organizations. The Middletown, New Jersey native had an outstanding ’13-’14 campaign with forty-two points (19G 23A) in just twenty-three games for the Devils Youth.

The Capitols returned to the AYHL when they selected Junior Flyers Midget U-18 forward Michael Merulla (’96 birth year/Kennett Square, PA) with the eighth selection of the fifth round (81st overall). This is the second time Merulla has heard his name called by the USHL as the Kennett Square, Pennsylvania native was selected by Youngstown in the twenty-ninth round in the Phase II portion of the 2013 USHL Draft. Merulla spent his Pee Wee years with the Junior Flyers, played Bantam Minor with the Philadelphia Little Flyers and then spent three seasons with the Team Comcast before returning to the Junior Flyers for his U-18 season, where he had thirty-six points (13G 23A) in twenty-three AYHL games, helping to lead the Junior Flyers to Nationals.

Continuing in the fifth round, the Green Bay Gamblers selected defenseman Brandon Crawley (’97 birth year/Glen Rock, NJ) with the tenth selection (83rd overall) of the round. Crawley is currently playing for the Selects Academy program in South Kent, Connecticut, but spent five seasons with the North Jersey Avalanche and one with the New Jersey Rockets. Crawley also spent one season with the Jersey Wildcats in the now defunct Empire league before the Wildcats joined the MJHL.

The Tri-City Storm came calling on an AYHL alumnus with the thirteenth pick of the fifth round (86th overall), when they selected winger Mark Petaccio (’94 birth year/Sicklerville, NJ). The overager left the AYHL directly from Team Comcast into the OHL after the 2009-2010 season. Petaccio spent five seasons with Team Comcast, and one with the Little Flyers. Petaccio had thirty-seven points in thirty-three AYHL games at the U-16 National level. He then played one hundred and forty-four games in the OHL, spread out between Oshawa, Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa; it was Oshawa that drafter the Sicklerville native with the twenty-fourth overall pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. Petaccio then spent one season with the Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL), picking up seventy-one points (33G 38A) in fifty-two games and additional eighteen points (10G 8A) in thirteen playoff appearences.

The Sioux City Musketeers called on the AYHL when they selected Jersey Junior Titans forward Ryan Walker (’97 birth year/Spotswood, NJ/Union) with the thirteenth pick of the sixth round (102nd overall). Walker, who committed to Union College earlier in the season, has spent his entire career with the Titans. The Spotswood native has been an offensive force for the Titans, picking up sixty points (17G 43A) in just twenty-six league games. In addition to his commitment, Walker signed a tender with the Amarillo Bulls (NAHL). Walker also saw time as a callup to the Titans EHL franchise.

The Waterloo Black Hawks closed out the sixth round when they selected forward Craig Puffer (’95 birth year/New Canaan, CT/Vermont) with the 104th overall pick. Puffer spent two bantam seasons with Mid-Fairfield and then moved on to the Berkshire School.

The Lincoln Stars selected forward Michael Gillespie (’96 birth year/New City, NY/Niagara) wit the fifth selection of the seventh round (109th overall). Gillespie bounced back and forth between the New York Saints U16 and Met franchise in 2011 and 2012 before being a fulltime MJHL player for the ’12-’13 season. Gillespie was traded midseason from the Saints to the New Jersey Rockets and helped the Rockets win their second consecutive Keegan Cup Championship and was named to the All-Prospect team for his efforts. Gillespie was named the Eastern Hockey League’s ’13-‘14 Rookie of the Year and recently committed to Niagara University.

The Madison Capitals returned to the AYHL in the eighth round when they selected forward Eugene Fadyeyev (’97 birth year/Clarks Summit, PA) with the eighth selection of the round (128th overall) out of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights organization. Fadyeyev had fifty points (16G 34A) in twenty-five AYHL games in helping to lead the Knights to the National Tournament and a share of the AYHL Midget U-16 National regular season championship. The Junior Knights had a pair of players selected in the Phase I portion of the draft.

The Tri-City Storm drafted alumnus Johnny McDermott (’97 birth year/Darien, CT/Boston) with the third pick of the ninth round (138th overall). McDermott spent three seasons (Pee Wee Major and both Bantam years) in the AYHL with Mid-Fairfield between moving to Westminster Prep. The Darien, Connecticut native committed to Boston University in February.

The Des Moines Buccaneers made it back-to-back picks for the AYHL when they selected New Jersey Rockets goaltender Andrey Svistunov (’96 birth year/South Abington Township, PA. Svistunov played Midget U18 with the Rockets after playing his U16 National season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. This past season, Svistunov stopped ninety-two percent of the shots he faced and had a 2.50 goals against average.

Alumnus defenseman Max Gottlieb (’95 birth year/Old Bridge, NJ) was next to be called when he was selected with the seventh pick of the ninth round (142nd overall) by Muskegon. Gottlieb spent six seasons with the New Jersey Rockets, sandwiching two seasons with the New Jersey Colonials. Gottlieb spent the ’13-’14 season with the Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL).

The Bloomington Thunder selected alumnus defenseman William Campion (’95 birth year/Seaford, NY) with the ninth selection of the ninth round (144th overall). Campion saw time with the Long Island Gulls, the Long Island Royals and the New Jersey Rockets before moving on to the New York Bobcats (EHL). Campion saw time in the USHL this season, appearing as a callup.

Sioux Falls selected alumnus Brett Supinski (’95 birth year/Collegeville, PA/Union) with the thirteenth selection of the ninth round (148th overall). Supinski spent six AYHL seasons with the Junior Flyers and three with the Valley Forge Minutemen before moving on to the Millbrook School and the CT Wolfpack split season program. The Collegeville, Pennsylvania native committed to Union College in October.

Des Moines selected AYHL alumnus Chad Otterman (’95 birth year/New Vernon, NJ) with the fourth pick of the tenth round (155th overall) out of Delbarton High School. Otterman spent one season with the Colonials and three with the Avalanche before attending Delbarton, one of the top private high school programs in the state of New Jersey.

Madison again came calling on the AYHL when they selected Team Comcast forward Kyle Walter (’96 birth year/Churchville, PA) with the eighth selection of the tenth round (159th overall). Walter played on Comcast’s U18 team and had seven assists in twenty-one AYHL contests.

The Colorado RoughRiders selected forward Ross Colton (’96 birth year/Robbinsville, NJ) with the twelfth choice in the eleventh round (179th overall). Colton spent seven seasons with the Mercer Chiefs, one with Team Comcast and one with the New Jersey Rockets before moving to the Taft School for the ’13-’14 season. Colton’s most productive AYHL season was his U16 National season where he had forty points (22G 18A) in twenty-two games.

Sioux City returned to the AYHL when they selected Washington Little Capitals alumnus Garrett Forrest (’97 birth year/Ashburn, VA) with the fourteenth pick of the eleventh round (181st overall). Forrest spent two seasons with the Little Capitals spent his Pee Wee years with the Little Capitals, appearing in thirty-six AYHL games over one thousand saves in those two seasons. Forrest then moved on to the nationally recognized Little Caesars and Belle Tire organizations before settling down with the Brookings Blazers (NAHL) for the ’13-’14 season. The North Bay Battalion (OHL) previously chose Forrest in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.

Tri-City came selected AYHL alumnus James Gobetz (’96 birth year/Saint James, NY) with the third selection of the twelfth round (186th overall). Gobetz spent one season with Suffolk P.A.L., five seasons with the Long Island Gulls and one with the Long Island Royals before moving on to Salisbury Prep. Gobetz has been a steady presence at every stop and had his best AYHL-statistic season with the Gulls at the Bantam Major level, picking up nineteen points (5G 14A) in twenty-eight games.

The Chicago Steel selected forward Cameron Klein (’95 birth year/Alpine, NJ) with the sixth selection of the twelfth round (189th overall). Klein spent his AYHL time with the North Jersey Avalanche and the New Jersey Rockets. Klein then spent two and a half seasons in the MJHL with the Rockets and the Avalanche and one game with the Jersey Junior Titans before being called up to the Titans EHL team. In the MJHL this season, the Alpine, New Jersey native had eleven points (4G 7A) in nine MJHL games. Klein also won two Keegan Cup Championships with the Rockets.

Muskegon made it back-to-back picks when they selected New Jersey Devils Youth defenseman Zachary Berzolla (’98 birth year/Howell, NJ) with the 190th overall pick. Berzolla was one of a handful of ’98 birth year players selected in the Phase II portion of the draft. Berzolla began his AYHL career with the Junior Titans before spending the last four seasons with the Devils. The Howell, New Jersey native had twelve points (4G 8A) in twenty-four league games and was also selected by the Sudbury Wolves (OHL) with the 252nd overall pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.

With the final selection in the twelfth round (199th overall), the Waterloo Black Hawks selected forward Nicholas Carbone (’96 birth year/South Bend, IN). Carbone spent his Pee Wee years with the Long Island Gulls before spending time with Victory Honda and the Cleveland Barns before Waterloo selected the South Bend native from the Chicago Young Americans program, who was paired with the Gulls at the U-16 National Tournament.

Fargo selected former Long island Royals, and Long Island Gulls, defenseman Brandon Fortunato (’96 birth year/Albertson, NY/Boston) with the first pick of the thirteenth round (200th overall). Fortunato has skated with the USNTDP over the last two years after winning a National Championship with his Royal team that was featured in the NHL-produced documentary, “The Making of a Royal.”

The Bloomington Thunder made Wade Novak (’97 birth year/Oak Ridge, NJ/Union) their selection with the ninth pick of the fifteenth round (240th overall). The Union College committed forward had twenty-five points (15G 10A) in twenty-five AYHL games for the New Jersey Colonials U-16 National program. Novak also spent one season in the New Jersey Rockets organization.

Youngstown selected forward Eric Esposito (’98 birth year/West Haven, CT) with the second selection of the sixteenth round (249th overall). Esposito spent his Bantam Major season with the Connecticut Wolfpack, picking up thirty-five points (19G 16A) in twenty-six games before heading to Loomis Chaffee for prep school.

Defenseman A.J. DiCesare (’98 birth year/Morristown, NJ) was selected by Lincoln with the fifth pick of the sixteenth round (252nd overall). DiCesare spent his Bantam Major year with the New Jersey Rockets in the AYHL and joined the Rockets for their U19 team. In twenty-four AYHL games, DiCesare picked up a pair of assists.

Green Bay then selected Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Paul DeNaples (’98 birth year/Moscow, PA) with the tenth selection of the sixteenth round (257th overall). DeNaples has spent his entire AYHL career with the Junior Knights and the Moscow, Pennsylvania native had twenty-nine points (6G 23A) in twenty-six league games, his best offenisve output in his time in the AYHL.

Sioux Falls selected Canadian forward Owen Sillinger (’97 birth year/Regina, SK) with the thirteenth pick of the sixteenth round (260th overall). Sillinger spent three seasons in the AYHL with the Long Island Gulls organization, playing both Squirt seasons and his Pee Wee Minor years with the Gulls. Sillinger had thirty-two points (16G 16A) in his final AYHL season (’08-’09).

Lincoln returned to the AYHL with their selection in the seventeenth round, choosing Team Comcast forward Kyle Weller (’98 birth year/Langhorne, PA) with the 268th overall selection. Weller has spent his entire youth career with Team Comcast and had seven points (2G 5A) in eighteen games at the U-16 National level.

Chicago selected forward Josh Vertentes (’98 birth year/Rehoboth, MA) with the sixth selection of the seventeenth round (269th overall). Vertentes made a brief appearance in the AYHL, playing in six games at the Bantam Major level with the Connecticut Wolfpack in the ’12-’13 season. Vertentes then moved on to Portsmouth Abbey and the nationally ranked Neponset Valley River Rats program.

Omaha selected New Jersey Devils Youth forward Michael Nisky (’98 birth year/Colonia, NJ) with the fifteenth pick of the seventeenth round (278th overall). Nisky just completed his sixth year of AYHL play, splitting time between the New Jersey Rockets and the Devils Youth. In the ’13-’14 season, the diminutive forward was a key offensive contributor with twelve points (2G 10A) in twenty-three games, showing the ability to create scoring chances for his teammates.

The Tri-City Storm selected Team Comcast U-18 forward Guy Roby (’96 birth year/Philadelphia, PA) with the third selection in the eighteenth round. Roby returned to Comcast, following his one season with the Little Flyers, putting up twenty-six points (16G 10A) in twenty-three games, good for third on the Comcast team. Roby has been a double-digit goal-scorer in his four active AYHL seasons.

After a quiet few rounds when several of the USHL passed because they’d fulfilled the roster requirements, Muskegon returned to the local ranks, selecting defenseman Joseph Maguire (’96 birth year/Dix Hills, NY) with the seventh selection of the twenty-second round (350th overall). Maguire spent six seasons with the Long Island Royals organization, including the ’12-’13 season in the MJHL. Maguire had twenty-eight points (5G 23) in forty MJHL games before moving on to the New York Bobcats (EHL).

Waterloo selected Team Comcast goaltender Corbin Gustafson (’97 birth year/Furlong, PA) with the final selection (359th overall) of the twenty-second round. Gustafson spent three seasons with the Little Flyers before playing the ’13-’14 season with Comcast’s U-16 National team. In AYHL play, the Furlong, Pennsylvania native saw action in twelve games, saving ninety percent of his shots faced and had a 2.54 goals against average.

Muskegon selected its second AMHL-connected player in a row when it made AYHL alumnus Andrew Cordssen-David (’97 birth year/Washington Crossing, PA) its pick with the seventh pick of the twenty-third round (366th overall). Cordssen-David spent one season each with the Junior Flyers and Team Comcast and three seasons with the Mercer Chiefs. Cordssen-David left the Junior Flyers and went to the nationally renowned Shattuck-Saint Mary’s program. The 6’5” defenseman picked up twelve points (4G 8A) in twenty-five games at the Bantam Major level before moving to the Midwest.

Muskegon went back to the AYHL well when it selected C.J. Young (’95 birth year/Newtown, PA) from the Junior Flyers U-18 team, with the seventh pick of the twenty-seventh round (430th overall). Young spent one season with Team Comcast and three with the Mercer Chiefs before spending the ’12-’13 and ’13-14 seasons with the Junior Flyers U-18 program. The defenseman provided a steady presence on the blueline for the nationally bound Junior Flyers but showed that he possessed the ability to contribute offensively with thirteen points (4G 9A) over thirty-two AYHL games over his two-year tenure with the Junior Flyers.

Muskegon continued its run on AMHL connected players when it selected AYHL and MJHL alumnus Christopher Gambardella (’96 birth year/Staten Island, NY) with the seventh selection of the twenty-ninth round (462nd overall). Gambardella spent three seasons with the New Jersey Rockets, including two in the MJHL, where the Staten Island native won a pair of Keegan Cup Championships with the Rockets. Gambardella’s older brother, Joseph (’93 birth year/Staten Island, NY/UMASS-Lowell), served as the captain of Des Moines Buccaneers before moving on to UMASS-Lowell for the ’13-’14 season.

With its next to last selection, the Bloomington Thunder selected the final AMHL connected player when it selected Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights forward Jacob Hamacher (’97 birth year/Corona, CA) with the eighteenth selection of the thirtieth round (489th overall). Hamacher played on the Junior Knights Midget U-16 National team that won a share of the AYHL Regular Season title. Hamacher played in twenty-six league games and picked up forty points (14G 26A).

“What an amazing draft for the AMHL,” said President Gene Palecco. “After a great Phase I, to have so many players with ties to our member organizations selected in Phase II really is a testament to the quality of the player that skates in the AMHL. We look forward to tracking each of these players over the years.”

The Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League would like to congratulate all of the players selected over the two phases of the USHL Draft.

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